Who would you consider to be the most “rock n’ roll” rock band in the world? Your short list might contain Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, or The Who, but would it contain The Black Crowes? It would, according to Melody Maker magazine. In fact The Black Crowes would top their list as the most “rock n’ roll” Rock n’ Roll band in the world. In 1990 Rolling Stone magazine readers voted The Black Crowes “Best New American Band” These are just some of the accolades The Black Crowes have received since the release of their debut album “Shake Your Money Maker” in 1990. Their multi-platinum debut album saw the release of six singles and sales of over 3 million copies. Pretty good for a 1970’s revivalist band from Atlanta, Georgia.
The new album is called “Warpaint” and was released March 4th, 2008. This is their first studio album in almost seven years. The album also introduces new band members Luther Dickinson, a blues-rock guitarist from Memphis (ya gotta love that), and keyboardist Adam McDougall. The band gets it’s blues mojo on right from the start with the first track “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution”. I think Dickinson is picking a fender telecaster with a bone slide on this one. With the typical Crowes lyrics:
Cut a rusty engine outta sawdust town
Better deal with the man who shook ’em all down so
Put a little grease on my axle now, yeah
This first track is sure to be their next hit. The second track could have been easily placed on an early 1970’s Led Zeppelin album. It is called “Walk Believer Walk”. The fuzz and slide guitar is so typical of that blues-rock genre. Just listen to that Georgia crawl. The next song is “Oh Josephine” and it slows things down a bit. It is a blues-laced love song with a somewhat clean guitar sound and piano. The sound is amazing. The following track begins a trail of some of the best stuff to come from The Black Crowes in a long time. The song is called “Evergreen” and is reminiscent of early Lynyrd Skynyrd. The guitar solo with the wah effect is incredible.
Now for the many album highlilghts. I have listened to this album all the way through three times now and each song continues to grow on me. But here goes: “Walk Believer Walk”, “Oh Josephine”, “Evergreen”, “Wee Who See the Deep” showcases the blues talent of frontman and lead singer Chris Robinson. “Locust Street” adds a dimension to the sound with a mandolin and piano in the southern use of the instruments. It is very much an Allman Brothers influenced song. “Movin On Down The Line” is a great blues jam with Chris on harmonica, and a very cool slide guitar. “Wounded Bird” is another blues jam laced song with distorted rhythm guitar, slide guitar, and organ. The song is very upbeat with a chorus that says:
Now don’t look back
My wounded bird
There’s nothing for you’re here
Need no wing just set your mind to fly
I could go on but the posting is getting more lengthy than I like. I would suffice it to say that the rest of the songs are as good or better than those mentioned already. I give the album four and a half stars out of five. I may change it to five after the seventh or eighth listen through. The Crowes definitely have their juju on and done laid it all out on da’ killin’ floor with this release.
Please check out the video for the new song “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution” below.